Archive for Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Students learn political lessons through Kids Voting

Two weeks from today - the country will choose the next president of the United States. And local elementary schools are getting a lesson on elections - including political parties. 6News reporter Lindsey Slater has more on how the kids are choosing between red and blue.

October 21, 2008


Macie Reeb, a fourth-grader at Langston Hughes School, colors the symbols for the Democratic and Republican parties. Macie and her classmates were learning all about political parties on Tuesday.

Macie Reeb, a fourth-grader at Langston Hughes School, colors the symbols for the Democratic and Republican parties. Macie and her classmates were learning all about political parties on Tuesday.

On the street

When do you think kids should start learning about politics?

I think they should start as soon as they learn to speak. My parents always talked to me about politics, and I can remember being interested in all of the elections I’ve seen in my life.

More responses

Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Reading or math? Big Jay or Baby Jay?

The answers to those questions determined which political party that fourth-graders in Jenny Williams' class at Langston Hughes School would join.

The parties had colors and symbols -- the Chocolate Cake party was blue, the Oreo party, red. While it might be kid-friendly, it's still a lesson on deciding between the issues.

"Even if you belong to one particular political party, you might not agree with everything," said Williams.

And the students hesitated a bit when it came to picking one side or the other.

"One of the questions we that we had to decide about was which was better, Big Jay or Baby Jay, which was very, very hard for me," said Meredith Shaheed, a member of the Chocolate Cake party. "In the end, I chose Baby Jay."

Jack Edmonds was on the other side of the spectrum. "Nickelodeon I like more than Cartoon Network. I like Big Jay better than Little Jay," he said.

But he wasn't 100 percent sold on the Oreo party. "I didn't agree with everything. I like Skittles better."

The activities are part of Kids Voting curriculum and Williams hopes they take away life lessons.

"I think the more they learn about it now and get excited about Kids Voting now, the more likely they are to maintain that excitement and encourage them to vote later on," she said.

The kids seem to be getting the message.

"If I could vote, I would," said Jack. "It seems fun."

Even though Meredith likes a different party, she agreed. "It sounds really fun and interesting."

Youths who are pre-school to age 17 can participate in Kids Voting on Election Day. They can vote at most Douglas County polling place from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.


ProfessorSeamus 9 years, 6 months ago

Consumer -Kid's Vote is a national program, and the curriculum is prepared nationally. The project started several years ago with the hope that if kids were excited about voting, they would bring their parents along. I had the opportunity to work on the Kids Vote committee in Lawrence on three elections, and it is a great program. Kids of all grades get into the voting, and the ballots are counted by high school kids. And no one had a political agenda that came up during the meetings - it was truly focused on encouraging kids to participate in the process, not on trying to teach them who to vote for in the election.

kusp8 9 years, 6 months ago

My question is who won; Big Jay or Baby Jay !? This is vital information people! Where's the LJW staff to answer my question when I have one !? ;)

nobody1793 9 years, 6 months ago

If I could vote for a bag of skittles instead of either Obama or McCain, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Nikki May 9 years, 6 months ago

See, they need more than 2 parties even in grade school. What if you like Willie wildcat or that goofy cornhusker?

ProfessorSeamus 9 years, 6 months ago

Chuckabee -It's not totally clear from the story, but the kids will actually be voting on election day for the political candidates. I think the Baby J- Big J and other questions were just used to illustrate how people pick a political party. The kids were given to possible parties - Oreo's or Chocolate Cake (and, really, how can you go wrong with those choices) and told if you liked Baby J, that was one party, Big J was another. It was just part of the lesson on parties. On election day the youngest kids will have a ballot that has only the presidential race (with pictures!) to vote on, and the older groups will add on more candidates, so the high school age might have several elections to vote in. The results should be available the day after the election.

beatrice 9 years, 6 months ago

"Replican" -- little Macie gets it! A vote for McCain really is a vote for more of the same! (cheap shot, but it was there and somebody had to say it.)

KansasPerson 9 years, 6 months ago

I am a card-carrying member of the Chocolate Cake party. (I wish!!!)And I'll vote for Baby Jay!

Trobs 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm writing in Oreo Cake now for president

mikeyj 9 years, 6 months ago

I think I'm going to vote "Replican" :-)(see the picture)

Julie Jacob 9 years, 6 months ago

When is the LJ going to visit a different elementary school? I'm tired of seeing all the stories on Langston Hughes and Sunflower. What about Pickney and Kennedy?

Jennifer Forth 9 years, 6 months ago

"I don't believe we can trust schools to teach without bias about voting."I don't believe there are a lot of parents out there without bias in their teaching either. At least the schools will present both sides. How many kids have that opportunity in their own home?

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